Craft By Zen

Curation / Films / A Brighter Summer Day

Film Poster for A Brighter Summer Day
Film Poster for A Brighter Summer Day
Dir. Edward Yang
🌎 Taiwan
🗓️ 1991
⌚️ 237 minutes
🔊 Mandarin, Taiwanese
First Watched:
The film revolves around two Chinese youth gangs and the experiences of a 14-year-old boy named S'ir. The story is divided into two halves: the first half traces S'ir's experiences in the gang, while the second half focuses on his home and love life. Both halves culminate in unexpected violence

Original Title: 牯嶺街少年殺人事件

Review

This review may contain spoilers.

This movie demands your attention. Yang doesn’t spell out what you’re watching, and that’s what makes this movie great. If you’re not familiar with Taiwan’s history, you may miss some of the subtle cues of the film.

At first, I was reminded of an Ozu film because of type of shots in Japanese houses. And then it hit me these nationalists who just fought off the Japanese fled to the home of the enemy. When one of the teenage character finds a samurai sword, there’s some stigma the adults have towards him.

It will take a re-watch or two to start to grasp the different character. On first pass, it’s a powerful movie about adolescent love. I’m sure on the second pass, I’ll have a deeper understanding of the secret police.

Still from A Brighter Summer day
Still from A Brighter Summer day

Watch Now

Find it streaming through JustWatch.